Riverview boys run to Huron League cross country crown

The Huron League champion Riverview boys cross country team won both Huron League Jamborees, the league meet, The Marauder Invitational and the Gabriel Richard Invitational. Photo Larry Caruso

The Riverview boys cross country grabbed control of the Huron League title race early in the season and never, ever let go.

The Bucs capped a league championship season by winning the Huron League meet at Willow Metropark on Oct. 21.

And it wasn’t even close.

The Bucs scored just 32 points and easily outpaced second-place Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central and the rest of the eight-team field. St. Mary CC had 72 points, Monroe Jefferson had 75, Huron had 83, Milan had 134, Grosse Ile had 154, Flat Rock had 164 and Airport had 245.

Led by second-place runner Logan Ruffner, the Bucs placed all five of their scorers among the top 11 runners.

Ruffner was second in 17:14, Sam Polgar was sixth in 17:39, Justin Shupe was seventh in 17:39, Gavin Shelton was 10th in 18:09 and Blake Robinson was 11th in 18:15. So deep with the Bucs that their sixth and seventh runners, Hayden Holmes and Ethan Rucarean, each finished among the top 20 runners in the race.

The win at the league meet capped a season that saw the Pirates win the first Hurin League Jamboree at Milan High School and the second at Sterling State Park. The closest anyone came to the Bucs was 13 points.

Riverview also won the Gabriel Richard Invitational at Young Patriots Park, The Richard meet is the remnant of the old News-Herald Invitational and still acts as a de facto all-area meet. The Pirates scored 50 points and finished well ahead of runner-up Dearborn, which had 87. 

The Bucs also won their division at the Marauder Invitational at Lake Erie Metropark, cruising in with 47 points to beat runner-up Huron by 40 and the rest of the 11-team field by even more.

All of that seasonlong success had the Bucs anticipating big things at the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 state regional, hosted by Carlson at Lake Erie Metropark on Oct. 30.

The Pirates performed well at the 14-team regional event, but eight measly points kept the team from turning an excellent season into an all-time great one.

Riverview finished the race with 108 points, eight behind third-place Dearborn Divine Child, the final team state-meet qualifier.

Chelsea won the event with 29 points, Adrian had 89, Divine Child had 100 and all three of those teams qualified for the state finals.

The Bucs had to content themselves with two individual state-meet qualifiers.

Ruffner ran 17:46 to finish 11th and Polgar ran 17:50 to finish 12th. Both made the state-meet cut. Shelton was 25th in 18:39, Shupe was 26th in18:40 and Robinson was 34th in 19:12.

Ruffner and Polgar ran in the MHSAA state meet at Michigan International Speedway on Nov. 6. That race was held after the Riveview Register’s deadline.